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Tour operators lament cancellation of Nazareth meeting with TB Joshua

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Worried by the effect of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world including Nazareth, Israel, some tour operators have cried out as the pandemic has robbed them the opportunity of hosting thousands of visitors across the world for the second edition of Nazareth Meeting with Prophet TB Joshua.

The first anniversary of the maiden edition of the programme expected to hold on June 23 to 24 at Amphitheatre on Mount Precipice in Nazareth has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

The programme, which attracted about 40,000 visitors to the ancient city of Nazareth, was a huge tourism boost for the city and has almost 100 per cent occupancy in all their hotels and it was also huge business for tour operators, bus coach owners and food vendors. One of the tour operators, Hisham Amal, said: “After what we saw last year, we were looking forward to this year’s edition. Nazareth is a tourist city.

We are used to having large number of Christian tourists all year round, but the last time we had such number that we had during the meeting last year was during the visit of Pope John Paul 11 in 2000.  He also had mass at Mount Precipice. Unfortunately, the global lockdown has made it impossible for the meeting to hold this June.”

Another operator agreed that the meeting was a major plus for tourism business last year in Nazareth. More than 50 luxury and sprinter buses were seen conveying people to and fro the mountain. Tens of police personnel and private security providers were also on hand to ensure there was no breakdown of order. Vehicles were parked kilometres away from Mount Precipice, while every visitor assessed the mountain using the bus shuttle.

Due to well-organised logistics, there was no breach whatsoever. One of the natives at the event, Roger Wakim, a Christian Arab and a member of the Mother Church of the Holy Spirit in Nazareth Illit, said: “This is the experience when Jesus was on earth in Israel. He was sent to start ministering at the age of 30. For three and half years, he was casting out demons and healing the sick. Deliverance and healing go side by side. Whenever there is deliverance, there will be healing.”

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